At the Houdini User Group Meeting at SIGGRAPH 2011, Side Effects Software offered audiences a sneak peek of Houdini 12.
Houdini 12 key features include:
New Geometry Engine – Houdini 12 includes a completely new geometry engine which will make Houdini faster and more memory efficient. The geometry engine makes Houdini’s core thread-safe and opens the door for extensive multi-threads. Side Effects will be multi-threading key geometry-related nodes in Houdini 12 and will continue this work in future releases.
Bits and Bytes – Houdini 12 also includes a number of other features and enhancements which will increase performance and workflow for artists. Operators and Digital Assets will now have built-in versioning, Houdini 12 now uses Double Precision in place of Floating Point and there will be a new performance monitor which has a heat map option for finding nodes which are slowing you down.
Pyro FX 2.0 – The creation of fire and smoke is a staple in the VFX industry and Pyro FX has been put to the test by many Houdini artists. With Pyro FX 2.0, you will see significant speed improvements as well as a new workflow which uses simpler dynamics networks and lets artists control simulations with artist-friendly geometry nodes. Pyro FX 2.0 also uses Auto-resizing fluid containers and introduces clustering technology which very efficiently breaks down and distributes the clusters – taking Houdini’s existing distributed dynamic simulations to the next level.
Bullet – The Bullet solver is now tightly integrated into Houdini’s dynamics context and performs brilliantly with very large datasets. Just like Houdini’s native RBD engine, it supports dynamic fracturing using constraint networks for glue.
Cloth – The cloth solver performance is making production-quality garment simulations a reality in Houdini 12. It can now handle tough cases while creating compelling creases and folds that don’t need to be “fixed” post-simulation. Comparisons with Houdini 11 show a 150x speed improvement. We look forward to working with beta testers to make this solver production-ready.
Fluids – FLIP fluids can now handle much larger data volumes and offer better behavior and performance thanks to both the new geometry engine and our latest research in fluid dynamics. In addition, Voxel liquids can now be distributed properly with no boundary artifacts allowing for bigger simulations spread over several computers.
Instancing – Render instancing in Houdini 12 has been improved significantly. For example, a rendering of 10,000 instances with random materials applied takes only 2.8 seconds in Houdini 12 compared to 380 in Houdini 11. That is an amazing speed increase of 136x. Coincidentally, this is great news for anyone interested in using SpeedTree V6 to create vegetation in Houdini.
Viewport – Following in the footsteps of Houdini 11‘s viewport quality enhancements, Houdini 12 comes with a radically faster viewport that takes advantage of the latest features in OpenGL. Picking for example is over 100x faster than Houdini 11. Now that the new geometry engine speaks directly to the viewport, Houdini 12 will work much more efficiently with heavy data sets allowing you many more options for working on screen.